The Blind Owl has been one of the rarest books that impressed me deeply since I first read it. If I don’t go crazy in this rotten, cruel world of ours, it’s because we have literature and good authors. Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl feels like fresh breath and a fragrant breeze. The Blind Owl will make you want to read specific sentences over and over again. It will make you feel like you are reading something out of this world. And Sadegh Hedayat will become one of the people you would wish to know.
Sadegh Hedayat and his reminder
Sadegh Hedayat, who lived between 1903-1951, is one of the modern authors of Iranian literature. The Blind Owl has been translated into many languages because it is an exquisite book. It influenced a broad audience in the languages in which it was translated and gave the author the reputation he deserved. Ironically, the book wasn’t published in his own country Iran for a long time.
What impressed me most about Sadegh Hedayat is that he was an exceptional human being. When he saw the animals being slaughtered during a feast of sacrifice as a child, he stopped eating meat. He never hurt a single living creature, even the ones whom he hated.
This is not easy reading or a book in its classical meaning. You cannot put it into categories. So I recommend you to read it as a reminder, not as a novel. It will remind you of a lot of things. You’ll remember the important things. Enjoy!
The Blind Owl
Widely regarded as Sadegh Hedayat’s masterpiece, the Blind Owl is the most important work of literature to come out of Iran in the past century. On the surface this work seems to be a tale of doom love, but with the turning of each page basic facts become obscure and the reader soon realizes this book is much more than a love story. Although the Blind Owl has been compare to the works of the Kafka, Rilke and Poe, this work defies categorization. Lescot’s French translation made the Blind Owl world-famous, while D.P. Costello’s English translation made it largely accessible. Sadly, this work has yet to find its way into the English pantheon of Classics.
This 75th anniversary edition, translated by award-winning writer Naveed Noori and published in conjunction with the Hedayat Foundation, aims to change this and is notable for a number of firsts:
*The only translation endorsed by the Sadegh Hedayat Foundation *The first translation to use the definitive Bombay edition (Hedayat’s handwritten text) *The only available English translation by a native Persian and English speaker *The preface includes a detailed textual analysis of the Blind Owl Finally, by largely preserving the spirit as well as the structure of Hedayat’s writing, this edition brings the English reader into the world of the Hedayat’s Blind Owl as never before.
Extensive footnotes (explaining Persian words, phrases, and customs ignored in previous translations) provide deeper understanding of this work for both the causal reader and the serious student of literature.
Sadegh Hedayat was an Iranian writer, translator and so intellectual. Best known for his novel The Blind Owl, he was one of the earliest Iranian writers to adopt literary modernism in their career.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: